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Ronnie Can You Show Me A Dream 2017: Ronnie Lane Paperback – 1 Sep 2017
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The book is definitely one for the fan and you can understand why Paolo (despite his undoubted pedigree) and John had problems in getting a publisher interested because the market is just so small and printing books is an expensive business.
However, if you are a fan then there’s loads of great stuff in here. I thought Woody’s quote on Rod’s attitude to Ooh La La was fantastic. He gave his old mate a right slagging off and so he should have.
It’s hard to write a definitive when you’re relying on memories from 40 odd years ago but there’s a few things in the book that aren’t quite right. The Chester Racecourse gig didn’t have 15 people there at all, but there might only have been 75 maybe. And Last Orders is definitely not a song about a pub! It might have been good to point out that the Faces “Devotion” turned into Ronnie’s “Tin and Tambourine” and that Chicken Wired wasn’t about his own chickens cos he wrote it for Mahoney’s before he even had any chickens. The typefaces keep changing, there’s loads of spelling errors, the grammar is poor and whoever sorted out the pics needs shooting.
But these are minor bits and I’m just being a bit of a geek here. Ronnie himself would never have even noticed and they even add something to the book.
It was interesting for me that Clapton only became a friend much later on. I’d assumed that they were best buddies from the early days. Clapton sought Ronnie out after he’d heard that he’d got MS. Other musicians (and fans) did the same and yet many of his old pals basically deserted him. I’ve found the same in my life. After I was diagnosed with cancer, many close friends did a runner and yet people that I wasn’t too close to became very close indeed.
Finally, I knew very little about Ronnie’s life in the States and that part was a great read. It was a crying shame that the rock world couldn’t have supported him better in his final years. I’m not talking about Mac, Kenney, Stevie Winwood etc because they weren’t exactly millionaires themselves, but Rod, Woody, Clapton, Townsend and many more could have surely chipped in with a grand a month each which would have made a huge difference to Ronnie’s later years.
So, to conclude, I’d say that this is an absolutely brilliant book if you’re a Ronnie fan or if you just want to find out about his strange and wonderful life.